Intimate wedding shot wins Off to Work Event Photography Awards 2023 after record number of entries
The ninth edition of the Off to Work Event Photography Awards culminated in a highly enjoyable gallery viewing and awards ceremony at the stunning RIBA at 66 Portland Place in London on Monday 5th June.
Some 200 event photographers and professionals mingled amongst a display of over 120 short-listed shots in the venue’s grand Florence Hall, while enjoying canapes and bowl food by Company of Cooks, before moving to the Jarvis Hall auditorium for a fun and fast-paced awards ceremony.
The prestigious Overall Winner trophy and a cheque for £1,000 was won by Manchester-based wedding photographer, Steve Grogan, whose intimate shot of a bride breast feeding her baby while in turn being fed by her sister was a clear winner having gladdened the hearts of the judges. Entitled ‘Feeding Time’, the image was captured at Eaves Hall in Clitheroe.
Battersea Power Station’s relaunch event was the subject of the Overall Runner-up, brilliantly captured by Noah Goodrich, while last year’s overall winner, Luke Dyson, picked up a Highly-Commended trophy with his Music Events – Concerts category winner of Chris Martin and the crowd at one of Coldplay’s Wembley Stadium shows. He also won the Christmas Parties category.
The other Overall Highly-Commended trophy went to Katja Ogrin for her colourful shot of the Pride Birmingham parade that won the Cultural Events category. The midlands-based photographer had a very successful evening as she also won the coveted Best Portfolio award.
Venue specialist, Matt Chung, had a good night too, not only collecting the Venues category trophy for the third time with a shot of The Painted Hall at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, but also won the Catering category with a shot taken at the Science Museum. Contrastingly, first time entrant, Emily Appleton, won the Trade Shows & Exhibition category, while James Bridle won the new A Listers category, which featured celebrities captured in an events context, with a shot of boxer Anthony Joshua. Cath Dupuy was named Best Amateur.
Despite being hastily relaunched last year after a pandemic-enforced hiatus, the not-for-profit competition attracted a record number of entries – over 1,700 images from nearly 200 event photographers. Indeed, the weight of entries for Music Events led to the category being split in two – Concerts and Performers. Moreover, the high quantity pushed-up the quality quotient, making judging more difficult than ever for the plethora of industry leaders on the panel, which numbered over 50 this year.
A further progression saw last year’s one-off Covid Chronicles category replaced by a new Royal Occasions class, which after the Queen’s passing ended up being equally poignant, but also as heartening, with shots from her majesty’s 75th Jubilee also featuring in the shortlist. The category was won by Jack Boskett with a stunning shot of the now Princess of Wales looking straight down his lens from a car during the Queen’s funeral.
As ever, there was a plethora of pleasing, insightful and inspiring images on display at the awards event, thanks to smart kit provided by trade show suppliers X-Hibit, coupled with the expertise and superb efficiency of EPA production partner Vision Group.
Competition founder, Philip Atkins, MD of staffing agency Off to Work, commented: “Photography does so much to amplify, justify and sustain the events industry, so it’s heartening that the competition is now attracting so many entries, including from agencies, caterers and venues, as investment in photography is given increasing importance. The competition was the toughest ever and the images entered encapsulated the impact, both societal and commercial, of a durable and effervescent events sector, which contributes over £42 billion a year to the UK economy.”
Competition & Event Director, Graham Hill, commented: “We owe huge debts of gratitude to our sponsors and event partners for making the competition and awards event possible. Also, to our array of industry leading judges, who had over 400 photos to review. The competition has been a great success and we are already making plans for the 10th Anniversary competition, for which entries will open in October.”
Take a look at the winners: